Waitrose is set to roll out its convenience store concept throughout London and UK-wide in a bid to make its mark in the food-to-go market.

The company announced yesterday (7 February) that it plans to open six new stores in central London this year, which would create 350 new jobs as a result. In addition, Waitrose is looking to take the concept further afield to Ipswich and Birmingham in the coming weeks.

The ‘little Waitrose’ concept, which was trialled at its Old Brompton store in South Kensington this time last year, aims to provide customers with all the fresh food and products they need in the next 24 to 48 hours. This includes its ‘food to eat now’, offering items such as bread straight from the oven and the retailer’s new food-to-go range of sandwiches, salads, deli products and individually wrapped cakes.

Diana Hunter, director of store development at Waitrose, said: “Our customers really like their little Waitrose and the way it fits with their busy lives. We have quickly established ourselves within the convenience sector and annual sales are strong. Today’s announcement underlines the role little Waitrose will play in driving our growth and our ambition to make us accessible and convenient for everyone in London.”

Of Waitrose’s 28 convenience shops across the UK, 23 are now branded little Waitrose, with plans to re-brand the other five in the future.